The Renewable Fuels Standard took a beating over the past years. It has been embroiled in a long legal battle to determine if waivers that were handed out, were against the intent of the policy. Now the arguments have gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
The court listened to the arguments from HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, who appealed a decision from a lower court, and from a coalition made up of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Others.
Matthew Morrison represented the RFA. He went before the justices and argued that any interpretation of the Renewable Fuels Act, in this case, needs to focus on the term of “extension.” He said that Congress wrote it specifically and that there is no other way the justices could interpret it.
While Pete Keisler, representing the refiners, said that the term “extension” was never meant to require continuity.
Keisler says that he is sure that Congress had no intention of forcing small refiners out of business if they could not comply with the RFS for a single year. However, Morrison countered that refiners have the ability to pass along their costs. Therefore, very few ever failed.
The Supreme Court will not rule until later this year. It is a very tense clash between two large industries in the United States. It will have ramifications on the RFS for the future.